According to Glenn – Print is Dead?
Someone should tell that to all those faces buried in their phones.
OK, OK, checking Facebook every five minutes isn’t exactly the same as reading The New York Times, but it’s a fact that people are reading constantly these days, and I’m really sick and tired of all this baloney that print is dead.
This ridiculous notion has been bandied about in the media trade press for years now, and it seems the idea has achieved global consciousness this year. But it’s flat wrong. Reading isn’t dead; it’s just that reading on newsprint is on the way out. Several large-circulation national news and general interest magazines have also been in death spirals for the last half-decade-plus, but that’s largely because many are failing to deliver anything unique to their readers, or have failed to adequately present their content in digital form. Those that do are, in fact, growing.
The magazine Allrecipes has seen a 76 percent rise in subscriptions this year with total circulation now exceeding 1.1 million. That demonstrates that people will pay to read content they find valuable.
So, “excuuuuse meeeeee” (channeling my inner Steve Martin). Print isn’t dead!
But not all print adheres to journalistic principles. That’s the real problem. Most of what people read is complete crap. What’s worse, half of the stories you read aren’t really stories, they’re advertising disguised as stories. That does not automatically mean it’s worthless content — we occasionally present sponsored-content pieces in mvm — but it is often confusing. It’s important to know the difference. Hell, I know of entire “magazines” that are nothing more than domination ad campaigns, though again, not necessarily without value.
So what’s up with Merrimack Valley Magazine, you might be asking yourself?
Well, we’ve had quality magazine content on our website for years. And people are reading us there, but we’ve never had a digital replica (and likely never will). Changes in technology and consumer trends are forcing all content creators to adapt to Google’s new requirement for responsive design websites (or else they’ll tank your rankings and you’ll effectively cease to exist in their world, which basically means the world for most businesses). Responsive design simply means that a website formats automatically to whatever device you’re using. For publications, it also means organizing content in a format that is easy to navigate and read.
With that in mind, we’ll be relaunching the mvm website early next year. You’ll be able to experience our content as never before, and more of it will be offered.
In addition, since there is always more content we can publish than timeliness and space in the print issue allow, we are introducing two new opt-in weekly newsletters this September that will enable us to offer our readers more of what we do.
NoteWorthy will be a roundup of movers, shakers and happenings around the Merrimack Valley that will publish every Sunday. Dine & The Vine will be a weekly guide to casual entertainment, dining, food and more that will publish each Wednesday. This new, more timely content is available for free. You just need to sign up here.
So, the next time you hear someone say print is dead, ask them what they’ve been reading lately. Then ask them if they’re sure about their previous statement.
Read on, and prosper.
Glenn J. Prezzano is the president of 512 Media Inc., founder and publisher of Merrimack Valley Magazine, Merrimack Valley Home and book publisher Merrimack Press. You may talk back to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.